Monday, September 30, 2013

Excerpts from a letter we received... "AN AUTHENTIC GERMAN BIRTHDAY!!!" LANGENHORN [ HAMBURG ]

Excerpts from Heidi’s letter that we received last Saturday.

HAPPY DAY!!! Receiving a letter in the mail is like a million Christmases put together!!! J Makes for a very happy mother!!!!

                                                                                                                    Montag September 16, 2013
Liebe Familie

Here are a few funny things about Germans and Germany ( At least in Hamburg ). They are the most BLUNT people on the planet.(* She just loves the German people with all her heart..even their bluntness) Haha…If they don’t like something, they tell you... if they do like something they tell you ! They also have printed toilet paper here which is really cool! Haha..I know that’s random…Ours has fish printed on it ( that seems to be the most popular ) but I did see some at a ward members house that had puppies and flowers!’ll have to ask Adina if it’s really like that everywhere in Germany.

whenever we go to a lunch or dinner appointment they always expect us to eat so much!!! The fact that I am small isn't an excuse to them. It only makes them give me more food. ..Goodness, I’m trying to lose 8 pounds and it’s pretty much impossible when we’re being fed dessert and huge meals so many days a week! Sister Nilson and I are loving our new diet though-our ALMOST vegan diet. We made tofu frikadellins from scratch the other day and they were very delicious! We also have been eating just soy milk and other lactose free yogurts and such. We feel pretty good!

Also, I know I have already said this…but I feel so at home here! There are so many artists in this ward. Mom, when you come back to Germany in the future I am so excited for you to see all of these people that I love. And I know you would appreciate their art.

Yesterday we had a really funny experience teaching a Muslim family. (very blunt like the Germans but the nicest people ) On the phone before coming to their home, the man was expressing annoy talking to Sister Nilson . “ How do you expect to teach my family and me when you can’t even speak German?” So Sister Nilson tells him not to worry because her companion (ME) can speak very good Deutsch, much better than her. Way to put lots of pressure on me! Even though the man was still a little annoyed when he met with us in person...he was flabbergasted that Sister Nilson has only been learning German for 7 months. When the man asked me how long I had been in Germany I told him “7 weeks “ and he seriously almost fell off his chair. Hahaha. He looked back and forth and then said, looking at Sister Nilson, “But she speaks so much better than you! Let’s just say I am feeling EXTREMELY blessed with learning German. I wish you could just be a fly on the wall here in my lessons or even on the street to see how incredible it is! I can’t believe how far I've come in three months.
And can you believe I spoke I church?! I know this is crazy but I wasn't even that nervous- I think I was more nervous for my missionary farewell talk. My ward here is so amazing too. There is one boy in the ward who is just pals with Sister Nilson and me. Remember J Wolf ? (The 14 year old boy I wrote about at the beginning of my mission? ) He brought the music to the song “ I’m leaving on a jet plane” to church and wanted me to sing it with  him. J
                                                                                                                       Montag 23 September 2013

Sorry, it’s taken me a week to get this letter sent off! P.Days are always so crazy…You should know that I spend all my time on the computer emailing our family- because I LOVE YOU ALL and want you to experience my mission along with me.

This whole day has been absolutely incredible! It is definitely a good start for this week! ( Haha…lots of yummy food, meat , sugar, chocolate…Now I can go back to my vegan/vegetarian diet… Yeah for tofu and carrots!! :D Haha..I know I’m weird:D
I’m so excited that you will be able to meet Mirja and Danny in a couple weeks! Mirja is seriously the “Germaniest”  woman ever!! So funny, blunt and fun to be around. I just love her!!  She just moved into the wohnung right above ours and it’s so much fun!! I think I mentioned in my email that she reminds me a lot of Alison Ainge…  I’m sending a little surprise with them for you all!

She also included another small letter in the envelope:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               23 September 2013
Meine Geburtstag!! ( My birthday!!)

Hello! I’m just sitting here on the Bahn on my way into Hamburg and wanted to write you a little message.!:D First off, thank you so much for the birthday package! I opened it up this morning after my birthday breakfast and I was so happy! Thanks for making it special:D  I’m glad I have love from at least part of our family…cough cough..sinc e only part of you like to write to me..Haha hopefully you’re still there and remember me!
How was turkey dinner? Wow, I am so jealous I had to miss that! (***  We celebrated Heidi’s 20th birthday (without her..) and made a turkey dinner with all the trimmings…and went around the table sharing our favorite memories of her and even blew out candles on her birthday  cake (Pumpkni pie J) Everyone made birthday wishes for her as they helped blow out the candles…)

Please let’s have turkey dinner the Christmas I am home- Next year!!! Nobody celebrates Thanksgiving here! I am very excited for Christmas here. Christmas is HUGE! Rather than just a day, it is three days long. There is a lot of time reserved for being together as a family. I also heard that there are great big Christmas markets in the town centers where everybody sells stuff- like Christmas decorations and gifts and such.. sounds pretty cool! I wonder if I’ll still be in Langenhorn at Christmas. I sure hope so! Christmas just isn’t Christmas unless you’re at home with family , but Langenhorn is feeling pretty close to that! We’ll have to see!!
So as I said, right now we are heading into Hamburg to a city called Wartenau. It is about 45 minutes from Langenhorn and we travel here about once a week- always for district meeting and occasionally on P.Day ( like today)This is where the Elders are serving (Elder Gibson, Elder Bekat, Elder McKean and Elder Luning. And there is a senior missionary couple! It is also where the stake center is !  Everybody is just wonderful here…:D
Today we are celebrating my birthday ! YAYAYAYAYAY!!! And also Elder Luning’s - he turned 24 last Monday. We are planning on doing a barbeque (nobody does that here! ) And also having some cake and ice cream! I’m feeling pretty lucky that my birthday happened to fall on a P.Day.

…A bit later today…
( SO here’s the story of her birthday celebration- I don’t think we can even begin to compete with the  celebration  the Elders gave her ..) :
When we got to Wartenau the Elders were already outside grilling. They had a grill with charcoal and everything! So we had a variety of meat (McKAy would have been in heaven) , a salad , potato salad, (very German) and chips! It was so yummy! And today was such a beautiful day that we were able to eat outside :D  (The last few P. Days it has been super rainy and cold ALL day! ) After eating, Sister Nilson and I went into the city to quickly grab some souvenirs so that we can send them with Mirja when she comes to Utah! We only had a little time before Elder and Sister Nuttall would be there with cake and ice cream…so we quickly practiced our Olympic speed walking and quickly traveled between bahn stations . ( I found a couple things I’m really excited for you to see! :D)
We then arrived back in Wartenau and had cake and ice I felt so loved!! Homemade chocolate cake , sprinkles and all, and chocolate ice cream too!! Om nom nom :D
***Then all the Elders brought my chair to an open place in the room and they all surrounded me. They began singing to me… an original Birthday song in German It was the funnest thing ever! I was very startled when they all took a hand on my chair and proceeded to lift my chair up in the air (more like toss it ) and throw me up and down while continuing to laugh and sing in German! Hahaha… that is what I call a birthday song!! Elder Luning’s family comes from Germany and it’s a song they have sung in their family. ( I think they may have made it up) Then  Elder Luning taught it to the other Elders . Pretty sweet huh? :D So yes, my day has been AMAZING!!!!

 Heidi's birthday breakfast. Her favorite... homemade Banana  chocolate chip pancakes ...and Heidi and her companion  decorated their pancakes with faces for the occasion!! 

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